As expected as some of us thought the Union's eventual firing of John Hackworth would be, it happened to be quite surprising. After playing in one of the most exciting games of the season, the Union decided to let Hackworth go and begin their search for the next manager. It comes at the most reasonable time, with the World Cup break just beginning, and it will give the Union roughly six months to find a new coach.
We like to have fun here at Brotherly Game, so I asked the staff to give their own opinions about the next Union head coach.
Let's see what they came up with.
JC Escobar - Nobody that is currently associated with the team. We need a fresh perspective, but most importantly, Nick Sak needs to stay out of his way. His two cents are worthless.
Heather Reppert - I am not very savvy on coaching personnel out there, but all I know is that I want someone with true professional experience. Or Veljko Paunovic.
Justin F. - The Union should hire as their head coach someone not named Eric Wynalda. Although come to think of it I'm not real into the Jesse Marsch train, either. John Spencer, perhaps? If we are talking realistic international possibilities, are Guus Hiddink or Roberto Di Matteo realistic? I do not know, but I dare to dream. I'll die laughing if it is David Moyes.
Dan Kenworthy - Wynalda and/or Ryan Giggs.
Barry Evans - I would love to go to something like the Red Bulls have with Andy Roxburgh in a director of football role, and a Mike Petke as head coach. The DOF role would be someone with experience of running a team, but maybe not the enthusiasm of wanting to do the coaching job full time (maybe Steve Nicol?), and the head coach someone like a Paunovic, who can just concentrate on coaching/picking a team. I wonder if we could even go with someone like Del Piero as player/coach?
Frank Cobbina - My fear is that the FO drive this "major market" narrative on a road to nowhere. It's tough to sell when two clubs within 100 miles of Philadelphia are decidedly bigger. Be honest with who you are and where you are, or else it's just going to be more of the same. I'd take a shot at John Spencer, or the current coach of the recent NASL champion Minnesota United, Manny Lagos.
Stacy Altomari - It falls back, partially, on how much the Union will spend. They might have to open the wallet wide to lure someone in. If we're dreaming, Paunovic would be a cool choice.
I have two words and they are both equally pleasing to say: Guus Hiddink. Talk about the era of good feelings, right? His tenure, which would last no longer than two years, would easily be the greatest of the entire history of the Philadelphia Union, past and present.
Ok I know that is crazy, so I'll stop, but how cool would that be? There is no way the Union can afford to spend crazy money on a coach with a huge international resume on the level of Hiddink's. Are there any other European coaches out there interested? David Moyes? No. Roberto Di Matteo? No. Ryan Giggs? No.
Nick Sakiewicz says that the resumes are piling in, and I refuse to get into how much bull that is. But I'll give them the benefit of the doubt of finding a coach that actually has management experience. The odds will probably be that Jim Curtin gets the nod later in the season, but there might be a chance that Sak hires a coach with previous MLS experience. Even if they are going to hear from big names looking to become the Union's fourth head coach, I would believe that they were fabricated lies before I believe there's actually interest to work under Nick Sakiewicz.
My choice for realistic coaching hire is either Jesse Marsch or John Spencer - two coaches who are unique in their style and have just enough MLS experience, while not having enough MLS to be criticized for having a track record, to say they're proven in this league. The ideas of Eric Wynalda or Alexis Lalas are unlikely due to their lush broadcasting jobs and if the Union decide to go for a foreign-based coach, wouldn't it be nice if they lure Bob Bradley back to the states?
Only time will tell, but don't be expecting Sir Alex Ferguson to come out of retirement.
Please answer the poll and tell us what you think below!